Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Your Typical New Years Blog...Ok, Maybe Not.

Well another New Year is upon us. I know it sounds so cliché, but really...where has the time gone?? It's crazy.
While many are writing down their New Year resolutions (even more cliché), let's talk about some things to think about in the New Year. So I now present you with: a blog for the New Year touching upon all of the usual cliché suspects! - FITNESS, MONEY, FASHION/STYLE, NUTRITION, MEMORIES OF 2013, ENTERTAINMENT and clearly, your LOVE LIFE...the ultimate New Years cliché blog...ok...maybe not...maybe just AAK's version of it.


Leg snap speed is an essential factor because it determines power and distance in your kick.
So it's always a good thing to increase your leg speed and you do that by increasing your fast twitch muscles in your thighs. Doing lots of exercises that move your legs quickly - stadium stairs, sprints, going fast on an elliptical or stationary bike - that will help with that.

Stretching increases your range of motion, which means you'll have more follow-through on your kick, and you can put more push into your kicks without tearing anything because you kicked too high. On the long shots, you see a golfer swinging all the way through, you don't see him stopping right after he hits the ball. Think of it that way.

Strengthen your lower body and core. This'll help improve balance, leg speed, and kicking power. Stability ball exercises are great for core strength and throw those single-leg squats in as well. Make sure you're strengthening those quads and hip flexors for that distance.


What do you have on your feet? Make sure those cleats/shoes fit snugly. Many kickers wear a kicking shoe that is one-half size smaller than their normal shoe size.

Love Life

Time for a solid bro-mance with your snapper. Get him out on that practice field with you as often as you can. Buy him lunch. Let him win on Madden. Whatever it takes to get him out there with you.


Lay off the sugar. That's all I've got.


If you believe in yourself as a product, and you want schools to believe in that product as well, then invest in yourself. Equipment, camps, lessons etc...the new FIFA just came out? What's that priority list lookin' like?


Fantasy Football...what's more entertaining than that? An interesting look at how it affects your finances...maybe not so entertaining after all.
Check this out.


Memories of 2013

Avoid dwelling on past misses this season. Try to get over any failures as quickly as possible. Being preoccupied with a past miss won't help you. This thought process also applies to the huge successes you might have had this season. Remember that those big kicks you nailed right between the goal posts aren't winning any games for you in 2014. It's a clean slate. Check that ego at the door and focus on the work ahead. So as far as the "memories" go...for a kicker, it's super helpful to have a short memory. Just remember what worked, what didn't work...and for 2014, work on being better.

Here's to a fantastic one!

Train With The Best...To Be The Best.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Iron Bowl, Monterey Jack And How To Silence The Haters

I was sitting watching college football and going through a list of potential blog topics I could write about...and then this year's 'Bama/Auburn Iron Bowl happened...

And coaches everywhere made a note to practice special teams more.

At the end of the game, everybody turned and looked at who? The kicker. I should say kicker(s), plural. Because the 'Bama starting kicker had missed 3 important field goals, so when the big moment came at the end of the game, Saban benched him and put in the red shirt freshman kicker for the 57 yard attempt. Well, the rest is history. Two sacrificial lambs sacrificed to the kicking Gods. And now, Twitter and Facebook are flooded with death threats (what the?!) and horrendous "statuses" aimed at the starting kicker. And I read them all. Pretty horrible.

The cheese stands alone.

I know that kid is hurtin' something crazy. We've all been there. But maybe not on such a huge national platform with America watching and an entire fan base blaming you for ruining their shot at another National Championship to brag about. People forget that that lonely cheese is a human being. He's someone's kid...someone's brother...someone who doesn't deserve friggin' death threats or verbal attacks via social media. So think about that before dishing it out if you're guilty of it.

But, more importantly, how does he get through this? What kind of damage control can be done in that brain of his swirling with all kinds of crappy thoughts? How do all of the lonely cheeses left on the field, gazing at their wide left, failed game winning attempts get through it?

I have a friend who's an actress and I asked her once if she read the reviews after her shows. She said, "No. If you believe the good ones, you've gotta believe the bad ones." I thought that was interesting. And I thought, "Huh. Now that's some good advice for football players everywhere." It's one thing to read the newspaper the day after your game. But do yourself a favor, and don't rush to Twitter to read what every single stranger who's been watching the game from the couch, or the stands, has to say about your performance.

For example, check out some of these gems I found on the Twitter after the Iron Bowl. (The Twitter handle below is not the real one, I didn't feel right using the actual handle).

Soooo...you've got the guys who think they're really clever: "Breaking news: Alabama's kicker attempts to shoot himself. Misses wide left"

The guys who couldn't wait to use one of their "go to" lines that always gets them laughs in the office: "Time for this line again.....Kickers are like lawyers; no one appreciates them until they need a good one." See what he did there...

The guys who read what they think is hysterical and then tweet it themselves, trying to make it seem like it was their brilliant mind that came up with it: "@Kickerguy just tried to commit suicide but he couldn't kick the chair out from under him!"

The guys who think that snark makes them smarter than everyone and also like to reference movies: "Saban's post-game meal will consist of his kicker's liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti. Probably."

And the ever so classy... : "Your life is pointless. I truly hope you are defiled and murdered @Kickerguy. You don't deserve to live f@@"
Wow. So ugly right? That one really blows my mind...social media has made everyone a little too accessible...which has some really great pro's that go along with it, BUT it also gives stupid people access to people they never before had access to.

SO, the first step in damage control - Set. Your. Boundaries. And that begins with adjusting the settings on your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. Keep the vampires out. Protect yourself. Preserve your mental toughness. If you've had a bad game and you feel you MUST, because curiosity is getting the best of you, and you need a "pick-me-up", have someone you know and trust filter through the crap and read you the positive supportive ones. And then let it go. Don't believe the crap, and on the other end of the spectrum, don't believe the hype either. Trust me on this one.

And when all is said and done, the ONLY status I want you lonely cheeses to believe and know is this:

It's always about the next kick.

Train With The Best...To Be The Best.

PS. This guy also has a solid handle on damage control...I recommend doing what he does here... http://www.beatsbydre.com/hearwhatyouwant